John, Jesus’ Friend/Apostle: Ephesus
John is the only Apostle who did not suffer a martyr’s death. He was human just like the rest of us, and he had his faults, but there was a spiritual connection and understanding that John had with Jesus that the other 11 did not. John and his family were well known in Jerusalem. He must have been liked by the Jewish rulers as well because he (Had to have been John!) was witness the trials of Jesus during the night of his arrest (John 18:15). John is then present at the crucifixion with Mary, the mother of Jesus. Because there was no Joseph, Jesus was traditionally and culturally responsible to take care of his mother. John was more family to Jesus than his own brothers and sisters, and on the cross, Jesus gave John the honor of becoming Mary’s adopted “firstborn” (John 19:26-27) to be responsible for her until her death. John carried out his appointment with love and dedication.
John the Apostle also died and is buried in Ephesus at approximately 100 years of age, and a huge church was built over his grave. Emperor Justinian and his wife, Empress Theodora of the Byzantine Empire replaced the large, simple church with a huge, Christian, Byzantine basilica. Based on the ruins ( earthquake), it looked quite impressive. It is said to be the first Christian church built in the form of a cross.
We had a great time searching through the ruins. There is even a Princess video that shows Ammon and Carter happily running and investigating their surroundings. The whole experience at Ephesus was excellent. We even got to have our pictures taken with a camel before we entered our tour bus to return to the port of Kusadasi.